'Lady Father' tells local female priest's tale

"I felt there was something that God wanted me to do other than work for a city for the rest of my life," she said.

Though "Lady Father" deals with the Episcopal Church and its structure, Bowman said she thinks the book can be applied to secular life as well. Today, a woman is the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, but women still have a long road to equality in many walks of life.

"I think her story is interesting, it's compelling and it's well written," said Ross Murphy, of Aberdeen Publishing, who is releasing the book. "I'm very confident and hopeful that Susan's book is going to be successful and her launch is going to be success."

For Bowman, she hopes her story will be inspiring to other women who are facing their own trials. Her advice to them: Don't take naysayers too seriously.

"I don't know where the person in the pew has been. I don't know what their experience as a priest has been. Let people be who they are in this world, and understand that everybody's coming from somewhere," she said. "There were times when it hurt, and times that I wanted to scream and times I wanted to walk away. But I didn't have the time or the energy to do that."

Even after Bowman graduated from seminary, becoming ordained was a process during which she had to fight the system tooth and nail, with the help of the Rev. VachE. Her first posting was at a home for girls in Virginia, and since that institution held services Sunday night, she was often called upon to travel to other parishes in the morning to fill in for absent priests. In this role, she found rejection and even hostility from those uncomfortable seeing a woman administer the Eucharist.

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